A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to serious consequences. In addition to fines, those who have a nursing license will likely find themselves the subject of an official investigation by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).
Why would the Texas BON care about a DUI when I wasn’t even on the clock?
Texas state law notes that criminal history can play a role in eligibility for nursing licensure and potential reprimand for those who already hold a license. The law specifically includes crimes that involve alcohol in this definition. As a result, the Texas BON will likely investigate a crime involving alcohol like a DUI.
In Texas, lawmakers gave the BON the power to discipline or deny a nursing license to those who have a conviction for crimes that could lead to questions about their character. The law refers to these as crimes involving moral turpitude. Essentially, the lawmakers passed this law because they believe nurses can only do their job well if they are of a high moral character. The decision to drink in drive could bring that moral character into question.
Will the TX BON really take away my nursing license?
It is possible. The odds increase if there are extenuating circumstances. Examples could include a DUI that led to a car accident and caused injuries or the death of another person, or if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the DUI. Regardless, the DUI will likely trigger an investigation. A revocation of your nursing license is not the only form of recourse. Depending on what the organization finds during the investigation, the Texas BON could also suspend or put limitations on your nursing license.
The good news: you do not have to go through the process alone. State law also allows a nurse to have legal counsel to help advocate for their interests during the investigation.